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Tonight was great for Rangers and awful for Penguins

Mar 27, 2012, 10:54 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers Getty Images

On paper, the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers should have finished Tuesday night in the same place that they started it, aside from having one less game remaining on their schedules.

Instead, it was an awfully tough night for the Penguins and a great one for the Rangers. New York squeezed out a 3-2 win against a persistent but hopeless Minnesota Wild team while Pittsburgh dropped a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders.

Tough times for Pittsburgh

This gives the Rangers a three-point lead in the Atlantic Division (and thus, the first seed in the East), which honestly seems more like a four point gap when you consider the Blueshirts’ tiebreaker advantages.

If that wasn’t enough, Kukla’s Korner points out that Marc-Andre Fleury took an elbow to the head in the second period and Sidney Crosby might just face some heat from Brendan Shanahan for his ill-advised cross-check.

Saving grace

The Penguins aren’t totally out of the No. 1 seed sweepstakes, though. The key date is April 5 when the Penguins host the Rangers at Consol Energy Center. If Pittsburgh wins that game in regulation, it reduces the Rags’ lead to just a point (or essentially two because of tiebreaker advantages).

In a fitting way, the blow to Pittsburgh’s quest for the top seed isn’t all that different from Washington’s diminished opportunity to get the eighth seed. Both teams still have a shot, but now they’ll need to depend upon Buffalo/New York to lose for things to work out.

Here are highlights of the Rangers’ win:

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Check out video of the Islanders beating the Penguins:

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  1. writeit22 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Just a freak win by opponents won’t keep Penguins out of Championship title game. NO FINE for Crosby but Isles ought to be fined 1 Million US$ for elbow on Fluery…I’m not worried. Rangers can’t hold out top seed even if J.Staal’s amazing brother is a Ranger. Stahl is just too cool…great game.

    • stakex - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      I struggle to make sense of your post. For example, I’m not sure why your blaming the Islanders for the elbow Fluery took… since after all, it was from his own teammate.

      Anyway the bottom line is that the Rangers won yet another big game to extend their lead, and not only did the Pens choke when they had a chance to take the top seed, they did it to the ISLANDERS.

    • pooinyourface - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:35 AM

      still crying about that feb 11th, 2011 BEATDOWN. You f*ck children, go kill urself

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        You might be the most ignorant, lame, a-hole on the web! Perhaps losers like you are part of why the Islanders have been so bad for the last 20 something years. Must be something in the water on Long Island! Either way, you are pathetic.

    • irm780 - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Come on, now, Fleury is spelled in the article above. And you spelled Staal 2 different ways in the span of 7 words.

      Adding to that, your hockey input is even dumber sounding that your grammar appears to make you.

  2. napoleonblownapart6887 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Paul Martin hit Fleury not an Islander…

    Disappointing loss for the Pens. Gotta win out and hope the Rangers drop one here somewhere. Maybe tomorrow night on another away game back to back nights? (<- wishful thinking).

  3. pooinyourface - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Islanders winning the Cup next year

    • nyr1 - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      No, definitely not

  4. richie500 - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    1st spot is all but gone for the Pens. They need to focus now on getting some of the veterans some rest before the playoffs start.
    And definately make sure they get home-ice advantage against the Flyers!

  5. velocirapist - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Seriously guys, you made that post a while back about banning idiots yet you let these asshole penguins fans accounts run wild. I DEMAND INTEGRITY ON THE INTERNET GOSHDARNIT

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